A General Overview to Detecting Heart Blockages at Home
If you know, or feel that you are at a heightened risk for heart problems, learning to detect heart blockages at home can help to save your life. While learning to detect heart blockages are not a suitable substitute for healthy living or proper medical care and analysis, it can be helpful in that it acts as a flashing red light to get you to the doctor. This article provides information regarding ways to monitor your heart’s health and status at home, but should not replace a doctor visit.
If you feel you have a blockage, or are experiencing any problems with your heart, you need to seek immediate medical attention.
What Are Heart Blockages?
A heart blockage, or atrioventicular block, is a heartbeat that is very slow. Since the heart is stimulated by very precise electrical impulses, a blockage can occur if any of the signals are hindered between the chambers of the heart, either partially or totally. These blockages can cause numerous side effects, ranging in intensity depending on the type of blockage you may have.
Common Side Effects and Symptoms to Watch For
Some of the more common signs of a blockage are easily spotted. Shortness of breath is one of the most common side effects, and may be seen following or during light cardiovascular exercise or even a regular everyday activity.
Additionally, you may also experience irregular heartbeats that are noticeable without a stethoscope. Heart palpitations may also occur, particularly during any activity that raises your heart rate. In some cases, light-headedness occasionally accompanied by fainting spells may happen. Should you notice any of these symptoms, especially if more than one manifests, you need to seek medical attention immediately as a blockage is a likely culprit.
Measuring Your Heart Rate
Since heart blockages cause slowed heart beats, it can be fairly simple to find out if you have one, although this will not work in every case. To check your heart rate, you can either purchase a heart rate monitor, or use your own fingers and a clock.
First, make sure that you are completely at rest. This is very important, since recent walking, scooting, sitting, or standing may give your heart rate the appearance of being normal. Now, press your right index finger and the middle finger on the very top of the vein located in your left wrist. This is one of the best pulse points to monitor.
Since it is difficult to count accurately for a full 60 seconds, you can monitor your heart rate for 10 seconds and then multiply it by 6. Ideally, your heart rate should be between 60 and 80 beats per minute. If it is lower than this, you may have a partial block. If it is lower than 40, it is quite possible that you have a complete blockage. In either case, you need to seek medical attention.
Another good way to look for heart blockages is to monitor your heart’s reaction to exercise. Immediately following a decent amount of cardiovascular exercise such as a jog or some jumping jacks, measure your heart rate. Instructions for finger placement are listed above. If you exercised for several minutes and are breathing heavy, then your heart rate should be fairly elevated.
If it is not beating more than 60 beats per second, though, it’s very likely that a heat blockage is to blame. If you had difficulty sustaining any amount of momentum during the exercise, it is also a big indicator. Since your heart needs to beat to bump blood to your extremities, a slowed heart rate would make the muscles weaker and unable to do much work.